Category Archives: Reviews

50 Shades…of what, I don’t know.

This post has been a very long time in coming.

I read 50 Shades of Grey, and I have never laughed so hard in my life. On one hand, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated. On the other, I wanted to throw it against a wall. From all the hype, I expected some horrible piece of filth that would rot my brain the instant I opened the book.

Not what I got.

So what did I get, you ask?  Twilight. With sex.

Yes, the editor should have been slapped repeatedly for letting the stupid things get through that did.  Yes, there are horrible, awful grammatical mistakes. Yes, there are repetitive phrases that throw me completely out of the story and make me want to throw the book across the room. Yes, I wholeheartedly believe that half the sex is physically impossible.

Do I think it’s deserving of the back-handed beat-down it’s getting?

Not at all.

I think it needed more time to cook. The editors should have done a much better job. I also believe it could have shifted a little farther away from the Twilight Fan Fiction arena. And some extra non-drama plot might have helped it be a better story overall. But overall, kudos to Ms. James for hitting it big with the next thing people want to read.

Did I buy the book for myself? No. I borrowed it from a friend. Mainly because I’m one of those starving artist types. [I’d plug my own books here, but that would be wrong.  However, if you want to buy them that’s awesome by me.]

So let’s talk about the sex… it was hot. Oh, boy was it hot. Even if some of it was physically impossible.  That bathroom thing? Really? First BJ ever and you’re going to (a) not drown in the tub, (b) have no gag reflex, and (c) do it completely right?

Bullshit.

Yeah, some people have that massive kink factor about them too.  Sorry, kids…I’m not one of them. I enjoy a good bit of kink every now and then in my reading, but the logistics of hardcore BDSM (which I’ve heard from members of that community this is not…or not entirely right) hold no real appeal to me. I’m too damn stubborn to be submissive and I laugh too easily to be dominant.

But for these people… if it works for them, more power to them.

And can I just say that the whole contract negotiation thing could have been wrapped up with a simple yes or no?  True, I really enjoyed the email discussion about it, but still… a little on the overkill side for my taste.

All of that having been said…

I give it:

“A” for effort
“B” for creativity
“C” for logistical planning
“F” for grammar, phrasing and word choice.

Overall if I had to give it one of those five-whatever ratings, 50 Shades would be a 3 for me.  Quick and mostly enjoyable read, even if I did feel compelled to toss the book a few times.

Now the big question – will I be reading the other two?  Probably not. Not because I think they’re awful… because they just aren’t my cup of tea.

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Guests? Reviews? I Gotcha.

So… now that I’m finally getting back on my feet (or back in the chair, whichever is more appropriate), I’m ready to start accepting guest spots again.  Posts will go out this afternoon to the appropriate sites, but for those of you who read, you saw it here first. *insert cheeky grin here*

Standard rules apply – Mondays and Thursdays are available unless it’s a holiday or some other important event (blog hop, release day, or my birthday).  Other days are negotiable for special events (again, blog hops, release days, or birthdays).

Excerpt posts, guest blogs or any manner of randomness is welcome.  I’m also offering two types of interview:  A personal interview, and a character interview.

PERSONAL INTERVIEWS:

Will consist of twenty questions chosen from a list depending on your genre, current release, and backlist.  A minimum of five will be personal, five about your backlist, five about your current release, and five totally random.

Interviews can/will also include a cover photo, blurb, and buy links.

CHARACTER INTERVIEWS:

This is the tricky one.

I want cover art, a blurb, and an excerpt showcasing the character to be interviewed along with some basic information about the character (name, general personality and disposition, and role in the story) up front.  Once I go through that, I will then choose ten questions from my stash to ask your character.

AND ABOUT THOSE REVIEWS…

Because I’m a sucker for a good book – any book, to be perfectly honest – I plan to start a weekly feature – book reviews.  All reviews I provide are fair and honest.  No, I can’t be bought.  Schmoozing me isn’t going to garner brownie points toward a five-star rating.  I call it like I see it.

HOWEVER – If I can’t provide at least a three-star review, I choose not to post a public review.  I will, however, email you in private and let you know how I feel and why.  I won’t be mean – that’s not in my nature.

Reviews will start and run every Friday (well, Fridays when I have actually finished a book and have had time to write the review) and will stay public on the blog indefinitely.

If you have a book you’d like reviewed, EMAIL ME.  I read all genres and will turn nothing away.  While m/m and f/f are not my first choice, I will gladly read and give a fair review.  I’m telling everyone this now simply to clear up any potential misunderstandings.

I prefer PDF or some other format compatible with my Nook, that way I can take them everywhere with me.  No, I don’t share eBooks.  I don’t email them out or give them to sharing sites.  I keep them, because chances are if I like something I’m going to read it again.

So, there you have it.  I’m making more work for myself, and loving every second of it.

Book Review: “Like Magic” by Anne Holly

NaNoWriMo Day 2.

Welcome to Procrastination Station, Population: Siobhan.

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Quite out of the blue yesterday, I received an email from the lovely and talented Anne Holly.  She explained to me that after drawing her winners for her participation in the Halloween Blog Hop, her three-year-old son pulled my name from her cauldron and insisted that I be a winner, too.  Because he pulled so hard for me to win, she sent me a copy of this story.  Yesterday wasn’t the best of days in my world, and that late-afternoon email completely made up for it.

You see, I never win anything – I only increase everyone else’s chances of winning.

I should send that child bags of chocolate every week for the rest of his life.  He deserves it. (I probably shouldn’t say that too loud…she might take it as a threat!)

Because she was so kind to send me the book, it is absolutely necessary to tell everyone what I thought of it.  It was on my to-buy list anyway (I’m a sucker for magic and happy-ever-afters), and I was so excited that I read it as soon as I got home last night.


It’s awesome.  I absolutely loved it, start to finish.  My only complaint was that it wasn’t longer, because I wasn’t ready to let Raven and Ian go.  They’re such wonderful characters, well-constructed and interesting.  Raven is a quirky girl, full of life and energy.  I swear she could step right off the page and be real person.

The story itself is a sweet one, full of coincidences and what-ifs, sly humor and tender moments.  The chemistry between these two characters is absolutely off-the-charts hot.  This woman really knows how to bring passion to life.

I could go on and on about it, detailing every little twist and turn, but I don’t want to give too much away.  I will say this – it is a quick and easy read, very entertaining, VERY sexy, and definitely worth every penny of the $3.99 price tag.

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For more about Anne, check out her blog.

And while you’re at it, GO BUY THIS BOOK!

REVIEW: “Vegas Miracle” by Liz Crowe

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be chosen by the lovely and talented Liz Crowe to receive a review copy of her newest release, Vegas Miracle, due out October 3rd through Rebel Ink Press.  She sent it to me late yesterday afternoon… and as you can see, the review is already done.

First, to give you an idea of what I’ll be talking about, here’s the cover and blurb, snatched shamelessly from the RIP website:

Ryan and Grace Sullivan have all the outward indications of a happy life: money, success, an undeniable physical attraction that quickly evolved from whirlwind relationship to marriage. But lately, Ryan’s become moody and distant. As their relationship starts to crumble, Ryan discovers something about himself he can’t admit just as Grace realizes the young man she encounters at an invitation only party, Henri Christophe, a celebrity chef with the most successful restaurant in Las Vegas, is her husband’s lover. But Henri holds a secret himself.
 
He wants to be more to both of them.Trying to make their unconventional arrangement work, Ryan’s deep-seated fear of relationship failure continues to thwart everyone’s happiness. When he finally walks away instead of confronting the emotional connection the trio share, he returns to find their lives flipped inside out. A sought after hotel and resort consultant, Ryan has yet to meet a problem he couldn’t solve. But when it comes to his own heart, Ryan may be too late.

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My Rating:

And Here’s Why:

Liz’s world is very much a character-driven one, focused on the lives of her three main characters.  From start to finish, she takes us on a roller-coaster ride of emotional turmoil that doesn’t stop until the very last page.  The story is engaging and interesting, and I’ve had an absolute blast with it.

Highly erotic, this story is a sensual, sexual ride.  The scenes are well thought out and beautifully crafted to include something for everyone, from traditional man-woman love all the way up to groups in varying degrees of kinkiness.  I can assure you that nobody gets left out in this one.

The contrast between the realistic male leads (something I don’t find often in fiction of this type) is strong and steady, from the 6′ 6″ Nordic God to the compact and sexy, dark-skinned hottie, there’s plenty of brain candy to go around.  The heroine is strong and self-assured, and I found her very easily to relate to from a struggling-artist perspective.  The scenes – both erotic and not – are highly descriptive and add a definite level of realism to the world.

I had a great time with this book – as evidenced by the hasty read and review.  When I find something I like, I can’t put it down… and Vegas Miracle definitely falls into that category.

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And Last, but not least, here’s a bit about the woman behind the book:

Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author.  When she isn’t sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga.  Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn’t any decent European football on the telly.  If you want a beer education follow her: www.a2beerwench.com.  For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to: www.brewingpassion.com.